Collaborating on the future Pasifika digital music industry

Thirty-six creatives, entrepreneurs and industry experts came together for a half-day talanoa on ‘fostering a sustainable Pacific music industry’, the latest creative industries Dialogue for the talented and multi-faceted Pacific Connect Community. Music is unrivalled in its capacity to elicit powerful emotions, tell stories, preserve culture and unite listeners. Music continues to play an integral role in Pasifika societies and, with everyone carrying a portable device, the industry has never been more relevant.

The Dialogue, co-facilitated by Mr Andrew Carriline, Chair of ICDP Foundation & ICDP Ambassador; and Nicole Jeune, Creative Director, JcPEM / The Vibe Girl Music Group, saw participants bring their wide-ranging expertise and complementary networks together to identify how new technologies could be used to assist the industry in developing an meaningful and sustainable listener base, while preserving cultural heritage. Port Moresby based participants were able to collaborate in-person with the activation of the local Pacific Connect Community Hub.

Our delegates began the talanoa with a presentation from David Bridie, Founder of Wantok Musik Foundation. Wantok Music Foundation is a non-profit music label that records, releases and promotes Indigenous Australian, Melanesian and wider Pasifika music, raising the profile and ensure greater economic opportunity for its artists. David discussed the power of the Pacific music industry and provided insight into how artists can have long-term career sustainability through new initiatives such as locally developed music platforms, aggressive licensing actions and a greater promotion of Pasifika music in Australia and beyond.

David was joined by Anthony Lloyd, Partner and Technology Sector Leader at DLA Piper. Anthony ran the participants through the potential of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the opportunities for Pasifika musicians to use NFTs and other examples of leading-edge tech to create a sustainable industry.

Following these inspired presentations, participants spent the second session generating ideas through more detailed discussions in the breakout rooms. The two breakout rooms, separated into ‘deep tech’ and ‘content’ pathways, generated four potential initiatives to take forward, including – immersive delivery of content, capacity building of the music industry in NFT technologies & business topics, platforms to enhance awareness of Pacific artists and collaboration, and integration of music infrastructure.

It was fantastic to finally deliver a dialogue on this topic with such a diverse and experienced cohort of participants! We can’t wait to see the connections grow from this Pacific Connect event and see the projects go from strength to strength to provide much needed support to the Pacific’s talented music industry.